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JPMorgan Chase Copyright Michael Nagle, Getty Images

New York Advisor Sues Former Employer JPMorgan Chase Over Severance Pay

Wells Fargo Managing Director Richard Sunwoo is going after JPMorgan for what he claims is some $340,000 in severance pay.

Richard Sunwoo, a managing director at Wells Fargo Advisors in New York, is suing former employer JPMorgan Chase & Co., claiming the firm reneged on a contractual obligation to pay him almost $340,000 in severance pay.

Sunwoo worked at Chase’s international financial services unit for 16 years as a private client advisor starting in 2002. In 2018, JPMorgan, which acquired the competing bank in 2000, closed Chase’s retail investment unit for non-U.S. clients that resided in about 50 countries. The accounts accounted for less than 1% of the bank's $283.7 billion in retail investment assets.

Sunwoo was notified of the closure the first week of August in a letter from JPMorgan. If he did not find employment within the firm by his termination date of Sept. 16, JPMorgan would give him 48 weeks of eligible pay totaling $400,000 (reduced to $369,230.77 for nonworking notice period) as a lump sum, according to his complaint filed in the Southern District of New York.

Sunwoo says he confirmed via phone on three separate occasions that he would receive the bumper payout in exchange for his departure. He then signed the agreement and promptly departed to Wells Fargo Advisors, according to his complaint.

The payout was to be distributed within two pay periods after Sunwoo’s leave in September, according to the complaint. The broker received only $30,769, he says.

After contacting a representative at JPMorgan who said he would be called back, Sunwoo received no further communications from the bank, according to the complaint.

That December, Sunwoo entered arbitration against JPMorgan, which was dismissed.

The complaint states that Sunwoo met his part of the terms and conditions and that it is JPMorgan who breached its side of the contract. He seeks a judgment stating that JPMorgan Chase was unlawful and an award that covers all the damages he incurred as a result of JPMorgan’s negligence.

JPMorgan declined to comment. 

TAGS: Industry
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